Seven Beauties

(Pasqualino Settebellezze)
Italy 1975. Dir: Lina Wertmüller. 116 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! Lina Wertmüller’s magnum opus, an audacious, still-shocking tragicomedy about survival at all costs during WWII, capped an extraordinary global ascent in the mid-1970s for the controversial Italian auteur, and saw her become the first woman ever nominated for the Best Director Oscar. (There have only been three since, tsk-tsk!) Giancarlo Giannini, in his fourth Wertmüller outing, is petty thief Pasqualino, a Neapolitan dandy with seven sisters. Pompous pride and grisly conduct lead to his institutionalization; forced into service with, and then deserting, the Italian army, he is captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp, where, to save his miserable skin, he performs sexual favours for the grotesque, sadistic female commandant. Told via flashback by the debased anti-hero — a role that earned Giannini his own (much-deserved) Oscar nod — Seven Beauties is a Holocaust film replete with outrage and brutality, but also ironic humour and contrarian beauty.


EXPLICIT SEX; BRUTALITY
NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS PERMITTED